In recent years, despite budgetary cuts across the public sector, many public bodies have been making substantial investments in order to regenerate urban areas. We encountered this just last year when Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) approached us to supply material for a high profile project in Wythenshawe, a district in the southern part of Manchester.
TfGM’s strategy has long been to support urban regeneration and encourage sustainable travel such as public transport, walking and cycling. In 2015, this strategy included a £6m investment in a new transport interchange for Wythenshawe, which would provide a state-of-the-art gateway to the town centre, better links between buses and trams, and improved passenger safety.
TfGM’s vision for Wythenshawe was to create an environmentally sustainable, fully integrated and accessible transport hub, with a range of improved facilities. Having previously supplied paving to an area opposite the new interchange, we specified the hard landscaping (including the footpaths, ramps and circulatory routes) in order to ensure the design aesthetics of the neighbouring schemes married seamlessly together.
1,371m2 of Andover Washed premium block paving was selected due to its flexible design capabilities and sustainable qualities, containing up to 50% non-primary materials. At the time, this product was available in just two colour options: Anthracite Charcoal and Silver Grey. Our design team worked in partnership with TfGM to create two new colour shades specifically for the project: Mid Grey and Light Grey.
We combined 1,083m2 of each of the new colours with the existing shades to achieve an understated, contemporary backdrop for the project. The four colour options were used to stunning effect, creating aesthetic designs in adjacent areas while retaining overall texture and colour consistency.
For the finishing touches, and to meet the health and safety requirements, we also supplied Elite (Format 3) deterrent paving to discourage vehicular access and provide wayfinding measures for the interchange.
The new interchange opened to the public in July 2015. It was a fantastic project to be involved in. Our Andover Washed block paving was the ideal choice to complement the contemporary design of the project and also helped contribute to the sustainability credentials of the scheme.
We always welcome the opportunity to create bespoke products for our clients. The two new shades created for the transport hub looked so good in situ, we have since added them to our overall product range.
John Atkinson, Project Manager for TfGM comments: “We are committed to reducing the impact that transport has on the environment, whilst creating more ways for people to easily travel around the region. Charcon provided a professional and experienced team to help us achieve these goals by exploring various product and design options. They went above and beyond to make sure the product quality was guaranteed and that the colour variations were as promised. We look forward to working with Charcon on future projects.”